An Interview with Teacher Blogger: Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room




I would like to welcome, Tamara Russell, from Mrs. Russell's Room.  She has been a teacher for 19 years, and has taught in public schools for ten years.  Tamara is National Board Certified and lives in Florida with her husband.  I happen to adore Tamara and her work!  I know you will too!!  

By the way...I use her fluency passages and morning work every day.  

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!  



Tamara:  I like sharing ideas about teaching with other friends that I work with.  Blogging just seemed like an extension of that with a larger audience.  I just had things on my mind that I wanted to share and a blog gave me the opportunity to do that.



Tamara: Wow! That's a great question! :) I love writing about deep philosophical things in education.  I like writing about practice and pedagogy.  I have also written a lot about common core.  

With each post, I have to think very critically about what I'm sharing.  There are actually people that read what I'm writing...so I have to make sure it's right.  I also have to make sure it's duplicatable and relevant. The process of dissecting my own approach to things has forced me to streamline my methods.  I've cut down on a lot of lag time on things, because I'm more prepared! :)



Tamara:  Well, balance for me is a struggle, just like I think it will be for lots of people who teach and blog. :/ I'm a high intensity personality that is at 110% constantly.  Taking time to breathe is something I have had to MAKE myself do. 

When I first started...I never expected that people would really respond to me or my ideas in this way, and so I didn't have a plan. :(  

I think determining what's most valuable to you before you even get started is key.  Don't compromise on things that you really feel are important in your personal life. Learn when to say no. Write things down.  Pace out your projects and blog ideas--better to have two great posts a month than 10 that you won't care about a year from now! :)  If you have a church, go to it. :)  Make sure that you unplug sometimes! :)


Tamara: One of the things that I struggled with at the beginning of blogging was meeting people.  When I started blogging three years ago, I didn't know a soul.  I just READ blogs I liked, but...I didn't KNOW those people. So, I went about trying to get to know them.  I would comment on their blog posts and facebook posts.  I would share their content.  I would leave meaningful feedback on products that I purchased from them.  I would ask relevant questions to things they posted about. Eventually, they would start to respond back! Oh. My. Soul!  The feeling was MAGIC! :)

Then, one person invited me to a Facebook group for teachers, and the rest was history! ;) Through that experience, I met a lot of girls that are my real life friends outside of blogging! :) The best way to meet people in this medium is to be organic.  Just be yourself! :) It really does take time to build a following! ;)



Tamara:  Well, jeepers creepers!  That's like choosing my favorite child! LOL! :) I am probably most known for writing fluency passages, but, I have created some really neat character units that I feel like translated to my classroom in really life changing ways.

Click here or on the photo below to check out Tamara's I am a Good Citizen unit.   


Click here to check out Tamara's Whooo is a Good Friend unit or click on the photo below.   



Tamara:  Both units were developed around specific needs I had in my classroom at the time.  My citizenship unit is three years old. I made it to help my class with tattling.  There are several things in there that relate to how to build community in the classroom.  I start my year with it and it's fantastic! :)  It's my top selling item! :)


The second one was developed to help some students I have this year! :)  We worked on how to listen to our friends, and how to diffuse situations when we were frustrated with our friends. :)  The kids loved it!



Tamara, thank you so much for answering all of our questions and giving us some awesome tips!!  You are an wonderful blogger and author!!  Best of wishes and we will be waiting on your next blog post! 
 




2 comments:

  1. It was so sweet of you to ask me to stop in! :) Thanks so much for profiling me! :) The post looks so nice! I was so honored to even be considered! :)
    XOXO,
    Tamara

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    Replies
    1. Tamara, thank you for taking the time to answer all of our questions!! You gave such an an awesome interview and I am so honored to have you here!! Thank you so much!!!!

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